Yesterday we spent an hour in the afternoon bird watching, well we were doing the national survey which thousands of others were also taking part in over the weekend. Got off to a slow start, however by the end of the hour we had logged twelve different species. Mind you where had the less common visitors gone, no sign of the Gold Crest, Bull Finch, Tree Creeper, Woodpecker, or even the more regular visitors, the Wren and Siskin. Resisted the temptation to cheat though.
A welcome call from Garden Centre (Ben Reid) this morning informing us that the tubers of Begonia Flamboyant had just arrived, a few more of these will top up our stock of this favourite red Begonia which we seem to favour over most others.
Checking some pictures of our borders in the back garden has confirmed that the use of some ornamental grasses would enhance the overall effect.
Nothing wrong with brightly coloured flowers, but the use of grasses can tone things down in a pleasing manner. One top-notch beauty, Stipa Gigantea is sensational.
I confess we did try this one before but unfortunately placed it in a position which was just too shady. Stipa Gigantea is one of the tallest of the ornamental grasses, I think more graceful than the Pampas Grass. It has narrow evergreen leaves, the flower stems are held high above this from June till August and indeed hold on to their flower stem throughout Autumn, it is best to cut back the flower stems in Winter, don’t cut back the foliage though.
The oat-like panicles of flowers are gold when fully ripe and the common name for the plant golden oats describes the plant accurately. The full height of the plant is about seven feet, fully hardy, but do plant in a position where it will get full sun for the best part of the day. Likes moderately fertile but well-drained soil, in fact, the plant will not survive the winter if placed where it will get waterlogged.
The Royal Horticultural Society has given this plant their prestigious award of garden merit.